This piece was part of an ASK paint jam that I believe had been organised to celebrate Sled One’s birthday. What a great way to spend the day, painting with your friends and being creatively active. This is a classic surreal character piece from Sled One and illustrates perfectly his extraordinary ability to tell stories with his art.
A seaside scene in which a crab is eating a mint choc-chip ice cream, or at least was, but the ice cream has toppled off and has been replaced by seagull poop, which is all rather disgusting. The gull, not content with providing his own Mr Whippy, is also breaking wind. Charming. The characters are beautifully painted, and the crab shadow lifts the whole piece from the wall. Fabulous, seaside humour.
Thank you, Paul H for correcting my assumption that this piece was by Sled One. It is in fact by 3Dom, and was painted to celebrate Sled One’s birthday paint jam. In terms of the rest of the post, everything I wrote about Sled One is applicable to 3Dom. I will leave the post as originally written, because it is important to recognise how difficult it can be sometimes to get things wrong…
This wonderful piece of writing from Sled One is actually one half of a collaboration with himself, which in retrospect I ought to have posted as one, but without thinking I have split into two. Both elements of his work were part of an ASK painting session a couple of weeks back.
Given that Sled One usually freestyles his work, which means he doesn’t paint from a design on a piece of paper in front of him, but with the freedom of his own mind, there is an extraordinary ease, confidence and flow that demonstrates his gift. Sled One is a truly gifted artist whose distinctive surreal creativity puts him in the highest echelons of character artists in Bristol (and beyond), and he is a great writer too. This is a fairly straightforward piece of writing, but often his writing is enhanced with character-like elements. Turning the inanimate into the animate is a speciality.
There are times when you have to just sit down and absorb a piece, to enjoy it to the maximum, and marvel at its splendour. This amazing piece by Sled One is one of those, and I don’t think that anything I write will actually add anything to the majesty of this work.
The regal character, part of a wider collaboration set on a pink background, is as unsettling as it is crazy. A lizard-like queen with a full set of pearls (is it Queen Victoria?) is holding a sceptre which looks like it has a fly on the end.
The surreal piece might be political commentary, or it might not, with Sled One it is customary to not really know what is going on. Accepting that there is a great story there somewhere is probably enough and we all have to let our imaginations run wild. I love this a lot.
There is little more I can say about this piece other than it is utterly outstanding. Of course, I can’t leave it like that, so I’ll give you a bit more background. I am guessing it is a commission, because it is on a business wall, but what a commission. The artists are Smak, Sled One and Kosc, and they have smashed this wall out of sight. The only downside is that it is an absolute beast to photograph on account of being in a narrow lane and on a curved wall.
From left to right the artists are Kosc, Smak (SM), Sled One and Smak (AK) and they have used a wonderful combination of black red and grey colours. Decay of old would be in his element. Kosc has painted an amazing photorealistic portrait with a bit of a glitch in it and has spelled out his name. This is simply magnificent. On its own this one third of the piece would be worth the trip.
Smak has spread his letters either side of the Sled One piece with the SM sandwiched between Kosc and Sled, with the AK rounding off the piece on the right-hand side. As you would expect from Smak, the letters are flawless and the design simply brilliant.
Taking up centre stage in this three-way collaboration is a celebration of the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. Sled One is the king of crazy creativity, and here the wolf is chewing on a spray can, which is squirting paint on one of two ladybirds in the piece. Look closely at the picnic basket, and you might just see a hint that the wolf hasn’t gobbled our heroine up but has instead squished her into the basket.
This is a glorious collaboration from three of Bristol’s best street artists. get yourslf down there.
I wrote about the passing of MF DOOM in a post a few days ago referencing a piece by Mr Klue in St Werburghs Tunnel, and this is another tribute piece to the rapper, this time from Smak and Sled One.
It is clear that MF DOOM was very much loved by the graffiti art community, and I have seen dozens of tribute pieces on Instagram over the past few weeks. This collaboration though is really out of the top drawer. On the left is an outstanding portrait of the masked artist from Smak, and an example of his sophisticated skills can be seen in the colours and how they are used on the mask – an extraordinary metallic effect reminiscent of Fanakapan.
On the right-hand side of the collaboration is Sled One’s contribution, and here his wacky and creative imagination goes into overdrive, with an MF DOOM/Thomas the Tank Engine fusion piece… crazy. Only Sled One could come up with a concept like this and execute it with such aplomb. Brilliant!
All in all this is a truly outstanding collaborative tribute and the best I have seen so far.
The third piece from an outstanding recent paint jam on the long wall at Cumberland Basin that I have posted on Natural Adventures is by Sled One, and features a Raccoon (something that SPZero76 is a specialist in painting) off on its travels.
I saw a little video clip on Sled One’s Instagram feed which had a little raccoon dropping a piece of ice into some water and getting utterly confused when the ice just disappeared like magic… so beyond the poor mammal’s comprehension. I think this piece is a retelling of that little snippet of film through the imaginative lens of Sled One. This surreal piece is rooted in experience and naturally has been painted with supreme expertise. Classic Sled One.
A beautiful and typically imaginative piece of writing from Sled One, painted alongside a Ments piece I posted last week. The colour palette is rather unusual set on a pale yellow background, certainly uplifting in this rather dark place.
The letters spell out MENTS, which is confusing, because I spent ages trying to find his usual SLED letters. I’m not sure what the symbolism of the brick walls and barbed wire is, but it might be a comment on the pandemic restrictions we have all had to suffer for so long. An interesting piece.
Last weekend, a chance meeting with Sam Spade (a street art hunter) in St Werburghs tunnel, led to one of those perfect moments for photographing street art and meeting artists. He told me that there was a lot of activity on the M32 cycle path, behind the Black Swan and that I ought to get myself over there. I was heading in that direction anyway, but the light was fading and I might just as easily have headed home. Luckily I went to take a look and there was a paint jam of about seven or eight artists just coming to an end, many of whom I hadn’t met before (more on that in posts to come).
This piece from Sled One had already been completed, and he was just hanging around watching the other artists as they completed their work. Sled One is one of the most gifted artists I know, and he seems to be able to create stunning work, graffiti writing or character pieces, with consummate ease. Here the letters spell out SLED (although it almost looks like he has slipped in an extra D) in a selection of letter shapes and colour shadings. The red and blue cloud clumps add an extra dimension to this fine piece of writing.
The biggest news of the last two weeks has been the US election and a deep sigh of relief around the world as the Trump experiment seems to have run out of steam. It is incalculable how much damage that man has done to his own country let alone the rest of the world, all in the name of capitalism, selfishness, power, greed, hate, mistrust, vanity. The biggest things missing from his persona are any sense of dignity, empathy or compassion. How did his rise to become POTUS ever happen? What has happened to our world?
Trump has been a rich source of inspiration and material for street artists over the last four years, and this glorious piece from Sled One may be one of the last Trump pieces we get to see. Entitled ‘Dump Trump’ it shows the President in a less than flattering light with a poo coiled on his head.
A recent epic collaborative piece on an ‘Upfest’ wall appeared without warning or fanfare a couple of weeks ago that brought together some fine atists, namely: Smak, Sled One, Ments and Curtis Hylton. What an utterly pleasant surprise and something of an improvement on the piece that adorned this wall before it.
On the left is a crazy but exquisite scene depicting venus flytraps feasting on various flying insects. In the middle is what looks a bit like an old microphone, although I’m not too sure if that is what it is. The story here… your guess is as good as mine.
Sled One has pulled together an equally bizarre piece that sems to be of a king cobra dressed as a policeman complete with truncheon and whistlewith an iced ring doughnut round its neck. The policeman woud appear to be in pursuit of a graffiti spraying mouse or two. Could this be a reference to some heavy handed policing which let to the prosecution of a street artist in St Werburghs tunnel recently?
To the right is a beautiful Hornbill by Curtis Hylton whose work usually involves a blend of stunning creatures composed of flowers, and he has worked miracles with this style here. Curtis Hylton has also embraced the colour scheme used by Sled One so that the two pieces merge into a true collaboration.
Dotted around the whole piece are a dozen or so ‘liquid’ spheres painted by Ments. It has been clear from recent pieces by Ments that he is working hard to create these solid/liquid forms and judging from his contribution to this collaboration this direction he is moving in is going really well. The whole collaboration is a celebration of bright creative ideas and utterly worth seeking out, although parking nearby is a bit of a challenge.